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Dagstuhl Seminar 98211

Hierarchical Methods in Computer Graphics

( May 25 – May 29, 1998 )

Please use the following short url to reference this page:

  • H. Müller (Dortmund)
  • H.-P. Seidel (Erlangen)
  • M. Gross (ETH Zürich)
  • P. Schröder (CalTech)



Over the last decade hierarchical methods, multiresolution representations and wavelets have become an exceedingly powerful and flexible tool for computations and data reduction within computer graphics. Their power lies in the fact that they only require a small number of coefficients to represent general functions and large data sets accurately. This allows compression and efficient computations. They offer both theoretical characterisation of smoothness and coherence, insights into the structure of functions, and operators, and practical numerical tools which often lead to asymptotically faster computational algorithms.

Examples of their use in computer graphics include

  • curve, surface, and volume modelling,
  • efficient triangle meshes, mesh simplification, subdivision surfaces,
  • multiresolution surface viewing and automatic level of detail control,
  • image and video editing, compression and querying,
  • efficient solution of operators such as global illumination and PDEs as they occur in finite element modelling for animation and surgery simulation,
  • flow and volume visualisation.

There is strong evidence that hierarchical methods, multiresolution representations, and wavelets will become a core technique in computer graphics in the future.


This Dagstuhl Seminar has provided a forum for some of the leading researchers in this area to present their ideas and to bring together applications and basic research in order to exchange the requirements of systems, interfaces, and efficient algorithmic solutions to be developed. The seminar has been attended by 52 participants from 11 countries.

The main goal of the seminar has been to provide an opportunity for discussing ideas and work in progress. International conferences with their densely packed schedules usually leave little room for this sort of scientific exchange. Consequently, in order to save time for interaction and discussion, we have only scheduled 36 talks, and the unique atmosphere of Dagstuhl has been immensely helpful to stimulate many inspiring discussions. The seminar has also benefited from the active participation of several young researchers. Here we are greatly thankful for the TMR (Training and Mobility of Young Researchers) funding provided by the European community.

This funding has made it possible for several young researchers to attend the seminar and actively participate in the discussions.

The positive feedback that we have received after the seminar indicates that the workshop has been very well received, and we hope to be able to have a follow-up in the future.

  • H. Müller (Dortmund)
  • H.-P. Seidel (Erlangen)
  • M. Gross (ETH Zürich)
  • P. Schröder (CalTech)